The Passing

Dave Cummings

Word came down this week that My Guy finally passed away. He lost his battle with Parkinson’s Disease at only 74. I have not been able to visit him since March of this awful year, 2020. But even back then he was barely able to respond to me. I kept recalling his words from a […]

Lost in COVIDland


There is a fellow who sits at the same table as my guy every day. They don’t seem to be aware of each each other, but both are quiet and they make a good match because of that. The wife of my guy’s tablemate has been able to see him since the staff connects with […]


tree and sky

Actually, I have no idea what is going on there. Not only is the ward closed to the general public, even family can not visit now. For the family members not able to check on their loved ones, this must be terribly difficult. The staff at the ward is generally good, and they do the […]

Dolly Cue

I am now down to one visit a week, for just half an hour. I am looking for real signs from my guy as to whether he still wants me to come visit. And the end of the previous visit he struggled, but clearly said, “Why do you come see me?” I said, “Because you are […]


abstract bubbles

It turns out that his family’s interpretation of my guy’s wishes may have been wrong. And my interpretation of their wishes was also wrong. I thought they asked me not to see him at all, and that he didn’t want me there, but that seems not to be true, or not exactly. So I have […]

Corona Eclipse

just a a shadow former self

Last visit with my guy was the same and different. At the door, I could not just enter using the posted combination. Now all visitors must ring to get in, then answer questions about their health status. Clearly, the VA does not want Covid-19 coming into their wards, and who can blame them? I swore […]

The End, Almost

abstract zoom

My ongoing journey with my veteran buddy at the VA may have ended in a way I didn’t expect. Last visit I asked him if he wanted to do our regular thing, to wheel down to the empty staff lounge where we can listen to music and watch videos without disturbing the other residents. Normally […]

Good Stuff / Messed Up

Things are stable with my guy, at this new diminished plateau. He gives me only the tiniest signs of recognition when I greet him, but that slight tightening of the jaw is what I interpret as a smile. So I asked if he would rather go out and steal a car and rob a liquor […]

He Moved His Lips

winter trees

For the third visit in a row my buddy has not been able to speak. For some visits he was asleep and barely able to stay awake when the staff woke him to greet me. This Sunday he was awake, though he didn’t speak and gave me no other signal of recognition. I showed him […]

Walking Away

plant in the snow

When you enter the floor of the dementia ward through the locked and passworded door, there is another further locked door to the right. That door leads to another ward where veterans are placed for evaluation and in some cases confinement if they are too unstable for the normal residential floors elsewhere. Recently, when I […]